What causes seasickness?
Seasickness is thought to occur when the brain receives conflicting sensory information (e.g. eyes, inner ear, joints and muscles) concerning motion and spatial orientation.
For example, if the visual system tells the brain that the environment is stationary, but the inner ear senses motion due to rocking of the boat.
What is the best medication to take?
There are a number of medications shown to be effective for preventing or treating seasickness available in Australia:
Dimenhydrinate (contained in: Travacalm original)
Hyoscine (contained in: Travacalm original, Kwells)
Promethazine (contained in: Phenergan)
Caffeine (contained in: Travacalm original)
As you can see from the list above, travalcalm original seems to cover most bases with multiple ingredients shown to combat motion sickness! The dimenhydrinate and hyoscine both produce drowsiness which the caffeine helps counteract.
Please check with your GP or Pharmacist if you have medical problems or previous adverse medication reactions to make sure the medication you choose is suitable.
If you are especially prone to seasickness, I suggest starting the medication the night before so that it is in your system before you head out. Prevention is better than cure and it is harder to treat seasickness once you already feel sick!
Are there alternatives to medications?
There is evidence (sometimes conflicting) that the following help treat sea sickness:
Acupressure – P6 acupressure point on the wrist.
Ginger (found in Travaclam natural)
How to take your seasickness medication
If you are especially prone to seasickness, try starting the medication before going to bed so that the medication is well and truly "in your system" before you head out. Then follow-up with the usual recommended dose in the morning, approximately an hour before your head out. This should ensure the medication levels will be high enough to work effectively while you are out on the water.
Remember: prevention is better than cure and it is harder to treat seasickness once you already feel sick!